By Sarah Chiang
With the academic year drawing to a close, the first Grand Challenge team presented the results of our work for two quarters, along with the other ART teams. We are incredibly proud of what everyone has accomplished and learned.
Our goal was to highlight the Grand Challenge, learn about the research faculty members were contributing, and connect people in order to help facilitate its execution. We interviewed everyone who responded back to us after months of pursuing responses — against the odds, a total of forty-five faculty members! To complete our database, we spoke with professors who specialized in energy storage, water treatment, and public policy, amongst other fields of study, and learned about how each faculty member’s work would be integrated with the Grand Challenge. While we have heard about all of these topics in our classes, it was another matter to hear about current and direct applications from experts, which was a privilege.
Related things to look for in the future include the undergraduate research program tailored to the Grand Challenge, and our completed database. Next year’s Grand Challenge team can build off of the foundations we have laid by interviewing the rest of the Grand Challenge faculty, and connecting professors who work on similar projects in hopes of increasing the number of living labs on campus, which was one of our original goals.
Ultimately, one of the more indirect results was that all five of our team members gained valuable insight into multiple sustainability issues across the board. Speaking with a wide spectrum of faculty members from different specialties and backgrounds allowed for a rich understanding of the integrative nature of the Grand Challenge, showcasing the need for people of all fields to engage as a community. Here’s to further progress towards Thriving in a Hotter L.A. and the engagement of the UCLA community.